Nor�westerIssue230�������������������������������� September 29, 2005

 

 

Continuing Resolution (CR) on the Move

FY 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill May Move Soon

Debate over Corps Funding Heats Up in Wake of Katrina
More Reasons Why You Should Register for the Annual Meeting

Terry Flores Named Director of Northwest RiverPartners

 

Continuing Resolution (CR) on the Move

 

Today, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR) that will temporarily fund federal agencies which have not yet received funding through the normal FY2006 appropriations process.The CR will run through November 17th, while the House and Senate attempt to complete action on the remaining FY2006 appropriations bills.The federal fiscal year ends tomorrow, September 30th, and the Senate should pass a matching CR this week.

 

As previously reported in Nor�wester 229, funding in the CR will be limited to the lowest of three possible numbers: FY2005 appropriations as enacted, FY2006 House appropriations bill, and the FY2006 Senate appropriations bill.This arbitrary funding method, even in the short term, will put the already stretched U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a very difficult position, especially given the tremendous amount of work the Corps is doing in the Gulf in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

 

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556

 

FY 2006 Energy & Water Development appropriations Bill May Move Soon

 

After months of stalemate between House and Senate appropriators, FY2006 Energy and Water Development appropriations may finally be closer to resolution.As reported in previous Nor�westers, the Senate version of the bill is approximately $31.2B, which is $1.5B higher than the President�s budget and the House bill, which are both $29.7B.PNWA has received word that the House subcommittee may receive a new allocation that is $750 million higher, which will get it much closer to the Senate version of the bill.Appropriations Committee staffers are expected to begin conference work in earnest next week, and a conference committee could be held soon.

 

Besides the remaining disconnect in funding, there are also outstanding policy differences between the House and Senate bills, including performance measures and continuing contracts.Though a difficult conference is predicted, PNWA is hopeful that a stand alone Energy & Water appropriations bill will be passed prior to Thanksgiving, and that this bill will not be rolled into an Omnibus funding bill, as it was last year.

 

For a full comparison of last year�s funding levels, House and Senate levels, and PNWA requests, please review the PNWA FY2006 Energy & Water Appropriations Matrix, located at www.pnwa.net under �Issues�.

 

Debate Over Corps Funding Heats Up in Wake of Katrina

 

Also affecting FY2006 Energy & Water appropriations is the ongoing work of the Corps in the Gulf areas devastated by Katrina.House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson held a hearing yesterday to take testimony from Corps officials about continuing work in the Gulf, and to lay out his views regarding how Corps funding should be changed as a result of this natural disaster.

 

Even before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Chairman Hobson was keen to enforce project prioritization in the Corps.Hobson has now tasked the Corps with identifying the ten highest priority flood control and infrastructure projects nationwide, and has indicated that projects impacting life and property will be given funding priority in the coming years.He has also indicated that shifts in funding could still occur during the FY2006 Energy & Water appropriations conference committee, and that the funding levels passed by the House and Senate earlier several months ago are not set it stone.

 

"We have to focus our attention on these priority problems, instead of trying to accommodate every request to dredge low-use recreational harbors, to add sand to beaches, or construct a boat ramp or a bike trail," Hobson said. "There will be delays and ripples on the whole of the corps program."

 

PNWA strongly supports funding disaster-related projects in the Gulf area through supplemental appropriations, rather than draconian efforts to force the Corps to abandon projects that are critical to communities throughout the nation.

 

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556



More Reasons Why You Should Register for the Annual Meeting in Vancouver

If you have not registered for our Annual Meeting in Vancouver, here�s THREE more reasons why you should!

We have two added bonuses as part of the PNWA reception Wednesday evening. You will have an opportunity to chat with the members of the Inland Waterways Users Board and senior leadership from the US Army Corps of Engineers, including Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) John Paul Woodley and Major General Don T. Riley, the Corps� Chief of Engineers.

Tomorrow is the last day before registration fee increases, register today at www.pnwa.net

 

 

 

 

Terry Flores named Director of Northwest RiverPartners

 

Terry Flores has been named director of Northwest RiverPartners, a non-profit partnership of river interests who work to protect the environmental and economic viability of the Northwest�s greatest natural resource, the Columbia and Snake Rivers. In her new position, Flores will lead the group�s efforts to promote healthy salmon runs, a strong economy, and protect the quality of life for all citizens of the Northwest.

 

Prior to joining Northwest RiverPartners, Flores served as director of hydroelectric licensing for PacifiCorp where she was responsible for overseeing the company�s project relicensing activities. Flores also served as the company�s chief lobbyist in Oregon. Flores has extensive experience working on energy and environmental issues and began her career at the Environmental Protection Agency with a focus on hazardous waste.

 

Northwest RiverPartners is a partnership of farmers, electric utilities and large and small businesses in the Pacific Northwest, joined together to ensure that the Columbia and Snake remain living, working rivers. Northwest RiverPartners promotes all of the benefits of the Rivers: fish and wildlife, renewable hydropower, agriculture, transportation and recreation. PNWA staff members serve on the Communications and Government Relations committees for this new organization, and fully support their efforts.

 

For more information contact Terry Flores at 503-294-1255 or tflores@NWRiverPartners.org.